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Wednesday, May 17, 2006
This is bad. My Lai bad.

There was a firefight in the town of Haditha last November. As often happens in war, there were multiple stories of what went on. According to the Marines, one Marine and several civilians were killed by an IED, then several insurgents were killed in the ensuing firefight. According to the Iraqis, "U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children." The Marines have since officially withdrawn their version of events.

Now Rep. John Murtha has come forward saying that an internal investigation has verified the Iraqi version of events in Haditha.

Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead, said the officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn't been completed.

This is a tragedy and legitimately a war crime. It is a good thing that the internal investigation seems to be avoiding any temptation to whitewash events. We should let it finish, but keep a careful eye on the situation.

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